PERTH (miningweekly.com) − ASX- and TSX-listed Moly Mines expects to achieve a one-million-ton a year production rate at its Spinifex Ridge iron-ore mine, in Western Australia, by the June quarter.
Moly Mines started mining operations at Spinifex at a slower-than-anticipated mining rate, owing to drill-and-blast difficulties, and equipment selection by the mining contractor, the company said on Tuesday.
The company mined 68 695 t of ore at Spinifex Ridge in the December quarter, after operations were started in October.
The plant was commissioned throughout November and December, with initial haulage starting in late November. Moly Mines noted that low-grade crushed ore was used as a base for the allocated stockpile area at the Utah Point export terminal, at Port Hedland.
Two iron-ore shipments were expected during the March quarter, for a total of around 130 000 t, with regular monthly shipments expected from February.
The Spinifex Ridge iron-ore would operate at a rate of one-million tons a year, over a five-year period, and has a probable reserve of more than 4,3-million tons of ore, grading 59,2% iron.
In addition, the project also has a further 2,3-million tons of inferred resource, located at depth.
Moly Mines also received a commitment from the China Development Bank for up to $250-million for the development of the Spinifex Ridge molybdenum/copper project.
The funding would be applied to one-half of the planned $466-million finance facility for the development of the molybdenum/copper mine, with the other one-half of the planned funding secured by shareholder Hanlong through a deal with the China Export and Import Bank.